PYD co-chair Salih Muslim: Russia is giving orders to Turkey
PYD co-chair Salih Muslim spoke to ANF about the situation in Syria after the summit in Tehran and Sochi.
The PYD co-chair, Salih Muslim spoke to ANF about the summits in Tehran and Sochi, the talks about possible negotiations between Turkey and Syria, a major Turkish attack on Rojava and the review of the Adana Agreement.
The Turkish state continues its attacks on Northern and Eastern Syria uninterrupted. Attacks have intensified since 19 July, after the trilateral summit in Tehran (where Turkey, Russia and Iran met). This raised the question of an agreement. Do you think there is an agreement?
You have to look at it this way: The Turkish fascism has been waging a war for seven years, which is not only directed against Rojava, but against all of Kurdistan. It uses cannons, tanks, policies of genocide... They attack the Kurdish people with everything they can get their hands on. The developments in Rojava have also been hit as part of this war. This fascist government has a hostile attitude towards the Kurds. Because of this Kurdish hostility, Turkey is willing to do anything just to annihilate the Kurds. It will also give the Russians or Iran whatever they want. It does everything unthinkable just to defeat the Kurds.
Not only Russia, but also other international powers and NATO are conducting such a policy towards the Kurds. They tell Turkey, ‘Do this and that with us, and we will remain silent on the Kurds, or we will help you in various ways.’ They take advantage of Turkey's hostility to the Kurds.
At the meeting in Tehran, three states allegedly sat down to discuss the Syrian issue. None of them represent the Kurds or Syria, they all do and represent their own business. However, they did not allow Turkey to launch the full-scale attack it wanted. There are many forces in the region between Tel Rifat and Manbij, the areas Turkey wants to invade. There are Iranians, Russians and others. Then there are the local Kurdish units and the Syrian regime. So it's a very dangerous thing and that's why Turkey wasn't given the green light. Turkey is being told that it can only continue in the old way. The Kurds could be attacked with drones and tanks, but a big war would harm everyone. After the Tehran meeting, Turkey has stepped up attacks, making no distinction between civilians and armed forces.
Could there still be a situation where the Turkish state attacks, although a full-scale invasion attack is not allowed?
I think it's called colour blindness. For Turkey, it doesn't matter if they have the green light or the red light, sometimes they do what they want. If it did something like that, it would be very dangerous. We have an organized population and we have experience. Everything is well organized. If such an attack occurs, our people will not remain silent and will defend themselves.
After Tehran, a summit took place in Sochi. As far as it became known from the media, the content was similar. How do you assess that?
The Sochi summit took place just 17 days after the talks in Tehran. This confirms that apparently there was a disagreement in Tehran. It didn't work out in Tehran. That is why Putin and Erdogan met in Sochi. In our opinion, in Sochi, Putin not only advised, but gave orders as to what Turkey should do. Of course, it was also about the Kurdish question and Syria, but that was only part of it. Agreements have been made in the energy sector, for example on nuclear power plants. The Russians are decisive and Turkey fell into Russia's lap, so to speak. Nobody talks about it, only the Syrian question is discussed. It was said quite frankly that the problem with the Syrian regime should be solved.
After the Sochi summit there was speculation about a meeting between Erdogan and Bashar al-Assad. What are Ankara and Damascus up to?
The Syrian regime already had plans regarding the Syrian Kurds and Kurds. We know that from the past. After the 1970s, there were many efforts here regarding the Kurds and a demographic change. Now attempts are being made to combine both Turkey's plans and those of the Syrian regime with what Russia wants. Turkey has a lot to lose in this. Erdogan knows that. But it's a forced situation. If he doesn't accept, what can he do? Can he attack? It's not just about the Kurds, it's also about Idlib and the whole Syrian question.
What will be the consequences of a rapprochement between Erdogan and Assad?
Turkish fascism deceives everyone. It has done this again and again in Syria. I wonder if Erdogan can really convince the Syrian government with this new discourse. Will Turkey succeed in creating an atmosphere of trust? That seems very difficult. The Syrian government is not so stupid that it immediately stands up and puts up with everything. However, Russia is in control of the Syrian regime and can act overtly or covertly. Russia can set the directives and bring Erdogan and Assad together. But it would be a forced meeting that will not lead to any solution, neither for Syria nor to the Kurdish question. I think the consequences would be very dangerous. You could call it a forced marriage.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu announced that he had a brief meeting with the Syrian Foreign Minister ten months ago. What does it mean that a conversation that took place in the past is now being discussed?
It was said that it was just a casual meeting. However, I assume it wasn't so casual. They sat down and talked. But that's not the point. We know that the Syrian regime's intelligence agency has met with MIT in Moscow and many other places. If an event from the past is made public now, it is because they want to test the reactions. It is also a message to the Syrian opposition and the Syrian regime. But it may not be realistic at this time.
There are other problems. The Idlib issue is even more complicated than the Kurdish issue. Be it Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra or other radical groups, nobody accepts them. How does Turkey intend to find a solution for this? This is a complicated thing and therefore seems like a discourse made up out of thin air. They may be able to work together on the Kurdish question, but that also seems difficult. It would be difficult for Syria to attempt a military solution on its own. Finally, the administration of Northeast Syria and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have not positioned themselves against the Syrian regime. They always said they wanted to solve the problem in dialogue. However, if Turkey tries to put pressure on the Syrian regime, I don't think it will succeed.
With the rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus, the review of the Adana Agreement has also been discussed. How should an agreement involving Turkey's military attack on Syria come to the fore with increasing attacks?
The Adana memorandum is not an official agreement anyway. It should be abolished and not renewed and updated. But Turkey still wants an excuse to be able to act militarily in Syria. This so-called Adana Agreement is a deal between two secret services. It is not registered with the United Nations, nor does it have any international significance. The Syrian people don't know about it, nor did the Syrian Parliament accept it. Before these attacks, none of the Syrian population was aware of the Adana Agreement. It's something that happens in secret.
The update discussions are a cover for the attacks taking place. What is called the 30-kilometer zone is the entire Kurdish region. Turkey wants to cleanse these areas from Kurds and legitimize their occupation plans. Neither the international community nor the Kurdish and Syrian people will accept this. Nobody believes that something like this is even possible. The fascist government of Turkey has drawn a map and wants to implement its Ottoman plan. That's impossible. The Kurdish people are resisting it, and neither the Syrian people nor the regime can accept it.
How should the people of Northern and Eastern Syria deal with these genocidal plans? What are your responsibilities?
The Kurdish people have proved their existence. It is resisting and organized. It's not something that two sides can agree on and destroy. The Kurds will not accept that and this plan will not work. When we talk about the people of Northern and Eastern Syria, we are talking about those who suffer the most. And resist. They have lived here together for years and have accepted the philosophy of a democratic nation. This has been shown in practice. They try to protect themselves by fighting side by side. They are intertwined. And that is slowly developing more and more. Not only for Northern and Eastern Syria, because all Syrian peoples are emulating them now. The plot of the Turkish Republic has been blown up. All have begun to see the truth.
We have a task here: to what extent can we organize the response and use it to benefit the Syrian people? That's what we strive for. The Kurdish people must be more sensitive to the planned genocide. The victory of the Kurdish people is looming. Turkish fascism will be defeated here and the Kurdish people will win. Everything has been laid bare on the Middle East question. Turkey will no longer be able to deceive anyone. I think the process will go in a different direction from now on.